Reviews for Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another ( ) 720p

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Message doesn't get through

I saw this unusual movie at TIFF, where it was presented in the Wavelength category - which is to say, experimental film. I'd be the first to admit I'm not well versed in the art of film, and some of the more avant-garde examples might well go over my head. This one is definitely avant-garde. That being said, it seems to me this movie missed the mark.

It's filmed in an interesting way, almost entirely close-ups of hands working on restoring or replicating various kinds of antiquities, artifacts, and in one case an elephant's tusk, using techniques from clay moulds to 3-D printing. The tusk images are preceded by beautiful close-ups of an elephant's craggy face, its eye. Voices in conversation music, workroom sounds can be heard but the people themselves aren't seen, only their hands and the items they're replicating.

The problem is, the film seems to be trying to make a point, but it doesn't even begin to come across through what is seen and heard. It could be intended as an observation about the real as opposed to the imitation, or the original vs the dupicate. It could even have something to do with conservation, relating to the images of an elephant and tusk. I see no way of knowing what the film is trying to say.

Director Jessica Rinland has a knack for presenting intriguing images; the film actually holds the attention longer than it should without a dramatic plot or discernible theme. I found myself cheering her on, hoping the movie would become less obscure. I suspect she could be an impressive filmmaker if she could bite the bullet and make her message clear to the average viewer.